By Greg Ostendorf
ATLANTA – Extra points are like clockwork. Snap. Hold. Kick. It’s the same after every touchdown in every game.
Most college football fans have grown accustomed to seeing the PAT sail through the uprights time and time again, but arguably none have been more spoiled recently than Auburn fans. Over the last four seasons, kicker Daniel Carlson has made 195 consecutive PAT kicks, the longest such string in both Auburn and SEC history. The crazy part? He’s never missed one.
“Those two are the guys that deserve the credit on that because my job is the easy job,” Carlson said. “I just have to put the foot on the ball. They have to be in sync. I think it just speaks volumes to the consistency, the people they are. It’s definitely been a fun ride.”
That ride will come to an end Monday in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl where the trio will play their final game together.
Carlson and Stovall redshirted during the 2013 season. They’re the only two players left who were part of Gus Malzahn’s first season at Auburn. Powell came in a year later and saw action as a true freshman when the team’s starting long snapper went down with injury. But for the past three seasons, it’s been those three on every kick.
“We’ve come a long way, but it’s gone by so fast,” Powell said. “It’s been an exciting time. Daniel has really done a bunch of great things. I’ve been honored to snap to him. I got to snap to Stovall – a great holder and a great kicker.
“A trio like us? I don’t know if there’s going to be one like this for a long time.”
Stovall still remembers when Carlson used to be a shaggy-haired freshman kid from Colorado and when Powell came in with a “very small beard.” Now the two can laugh about it because the beard has taken on a life of its own, and the senior looks more like a cast member of the TV show Duck Dynasty than he does a long snapper.
“For me, just to be a part of it with them, it’s made my time at Auburn that much more special,” Stovall said. “I get to work with guys every day that come to work and have an attitude that they’re not just here to have fun and do the college life, they’re here for a bigger purpose and something much greater than playing at this level. They have aspirations to play at the next.
“That’s what I signed up for. I wanted to be with guys that took it serious and wanted to make that step to the next level. So for me, it’s been fun and truly an honor to be with both of them.”
Next up for Carlson and Powell is the Senior Bowl next month, and then the hope is that both will land on NFL rosters. As a holder, Stovall’s chances of playing at the next level are slimmer, but there’s still one more game left at Auburn and he might even come out of retirement to help the other two train before the draft.
The trio will also be reunited again next month at Carlson's wedding.
As the final game approaches for Carlson, Stovall and Powell, we asked each of them about their best memory from their time at Auburn.
Carlson: “I’ll say that Ike’s freshman year, my redshirt freshman year, we ended the season with the Outback Bowl where we missed a kick and lost the game. For me, that was kind of the biggest moment of my career. Obviously, it was a negative moment, but just from where we’ve come from there, it’s been so cool.”
Stovall: “Something that sticks out with Ike to me is when our last long snapper went down his freshman year, and he had to come in against Ole Miss on the road. You don’t expect to play as the backup snapper, especially as the backup long snapper, and when he went down, Ike just stepped in. They had a big punt. It was backed up to the three- or four-yard line, and Ike made a great snap. I just remember that thinking how much poise he had as a young freshman and just to carry that through his senior year, that’s something that stood out.
Powell: “For me, one of the biggest moments that really put football in perspective for me is when we went into four overtimes with Arkansas my sophomore year, and we had to kick those two field goals to keep going into overtime. I remember Stovall told Daniel, ‘This is what we live for.’ That’s what we do. Snap. Hold. Kick. That’s what we live to do. At practice, that’s what we work for. It sounds simple, but that’s what we’re living to do.”
Snap. Hold. Kick. The Auburn trio who has done that so many times over the past four years will do it for the final time Monday.
“We’re going to enjoy this and try to end the best way we can,” Carlson said.
Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @greg_ostendorf
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Ticket Information
Join Coach Malzahn and the seventh ranked Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as they play tenth ranked and undefeated UCF in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Monday, January 1. Tickets are available online at AUBTIX.com or by phone at (855) 282-2010.